Month: July 2013

The Things You Never Bought

     These days, the culmination of a person’s money seems to be consummated with the purchase of tablets, smart phones, and small multi-functional gadgets that have 10-point capacitative screens. Gone are the days when our parents toiled in their narrow choices of careers and only dreamed to save their first few thousand pesos for new furnishings, utensils, or even an extra fan in the house. But even they are not spared from the blinding face-value of these…products, with the scapegoat excuse that such gadgets improve lifestyle. Sure, the items integrate the functions of a notebook, a camera, and a gameboy, but for all that these are worth, they’re not enough to overcome the tradeoff of anxiety in having to maintain high-value items.

     Everyone has some lack in life, and it’s not so wrong to fill this void with something that involves a purchase. In Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, special personal items climb up to the very top, under self – realization. However, our senses are more than what seems to be intuitive to indulge in! If you really want to make the most of life, you can consider some other items that can serve as real improvements to the quality of life.


1. Good speakers or good headphones

     Depth, crisp, and spread. These three components constitute the hair-raising musical playback. Even with the simplest of mp3 devices (such as entry-level Nokia phones), you can still get a decent output and the most enjoyable jeepney rides. Lateral separate speakers are better than headphones because they utilize your room’s ambience and send the bass notes to your body, whereas earphones just ring through the cartilage of your ear.

     There are no TV screens in our house’s living room, except for a small Bose system at the corner. I sit on the sofa with my laptop while the radio plays some Beatles tune or the broadcast from either 98.7 or 105.1 fm. Can you imagine how different your kids will grow up with music in the sala, instead of a noisy TV throughout their early years?

2. Home interior design

     Looking to buy a new car? Why don’t you drop that million-peso bank loan on a revamp in your living space instead? A renovation can be good for improving air circulation in the house and creating new interactive spaces. Even a modest home can be washed with a cafe-like ambiance. When you and your family members begin to be more relaxed at home, you’ll notice that conversations become warmer, and everyone enjoys each other’s company better.

3. Healthy food

     We should take from our parents’ humble beginnings. Do you ever notice that, on a road trip, they prefer to eat in lutong-bahay canteens rather than in branded restaurants? The Filipino diet is bursting with the best of go, grow, and glow nutrition (citation needed), yet we define our fine taste with generally unhealthy food: saucy, spicy, creamy, and cheap. Why don’t you make it a standard to always buy greens for making vinegar-based salads, weight-loss cereal and non-fat milk, calcium tablets for aging people, tea, and wine instead of liquor? Imagine how many pounds you can put off with real brewed coffee instead of 3-in-1 mixes. Because healthy food can oftentimes be bitter, acquiring its taste raises you to the level of connoisseurs, and one instantly acquires a new passion — not an addiction. Healthy food is a path to enjoying life more fully because of inherent antioxidants that fight cancer-causing cell mutations, as well as a generally better flow of your internal milieu that account for better everyday health.

     We forget that life is so multifaceted that we focus our lives onto things that don’t actually matter as much. If you plan your decisions according to the themes of your mind, body, and spirit, you’ll get a higher return of happiness per money spent. You can then focus more on the people around you, and you’ll get to pray more, eat better, drive slower, and work better. Life is better.

Credits to Jane Nera for editingImage